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Coach Returns to the Runway in Shanghai

The American heritage brand staged a proper fashion show for its Winter 2021 collection debut in China.
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2021.06.03Coach8177 拷贝

This week, Coach made its grand return to the runway — but instead of New York, the American heritage brand chose Shanghai as a backdrop to present Stuart Vevers' latest vision. 

The traditional fashion show is obviously a familiar format for Coach, but for this outing, the brand made sure to incorporate certain elements that have come to define this period of collection debuts, when we couldn't gather IRL: live broadcasts across channels, pre-produced stylized visuals (in this case, a new episode of "Coach TV" starring brand ambassadors, including Jennifer Lopez, Jeremy Lin and Rickey Thompson) and a more flexible interpretation of the industry's calendar. 

The season, previously known as pre-spring, is now referred to as winter, which Vevers believes represents "a more honest approach to seasonality," allowing him to revisit key pieces from the most recent fall collection while also introducing new ideas specific for the cold months and, on the occasion of this special event in China, presenting "an ode to the attitude of a new generation in Shanghai," he explained in a press statement. 

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"The experience I envisioned for our return to the runway combines all that we loved about live shows in the past with all that we've learned in the past year," Vevers said. "It brings together our Coach Family around the world and reflects our commitment to imagining differently and constantly evolving."

The theme for Winter 2021, Vevers noted, is "a sense of adventure and our hopes for tomorrow." Coach is going big on the ski theme, as seen through the graphics on updated Fair Isle-style knits, retro snow pants, colorful puffer jackets, leather patches on handbags and other winter accessories. There are also lace- and velvet-accented lamé dresses and tops, to go with this idea of optimistic dressing, alongside some of the staple "creature comforts" we saw in the fall line.

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The show was staged on a set inspired by classic American drive-in theaters (complete with retro cars), at the historic Shanghai Exhibition Center. Yann Bozec, Tapestry Asia's chief executive officer, told WWD that, moving forward, Coach plans on staging a runway show in China annually, as the market is a big focus for the company. "We are already working on the concept for next year," he said. 

See every single look from Coach's Winter 2021 collection in the gallery, below. 

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